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It’s Dirty Under the Rug

January 16, 2015

When I was in Tehachapi, my downstairs neighbor committed suicide. In Lancaster, a man on the next tier committed suicide. While in Kern Valley, a man in my building committed suicide.

I attempted suicide on September 4th, 2014. At that time, Corrections Officer R. Day sprayed me with chemical agents to get me to stop hurting myself. This last Friday when referring to that event, a C.O. suggested that I should “Just do it.”

On January 9th, 2015, while waiting for breakfast, I was singing a song (“Unforgiven” by Metallica), when another C.O. said, “You sing everyday, shut the fuck up.” I responded, “I’m the one in a cell trying to make the best of it, and you come here every day bitter, so fuck off.” He said, “I’ll take your radio.” I said, “Try it.” At which point, he tapped my window and said “You’re a little bitch.” Now C.O. R. Day says,”Remember when you were crying like a little bitch upstairs?” (Referring to Sept. 4th) I said, “Yeah, so what, it takes a real man to shed a tear. I was suicidal.” C.O. R. Day replied, “Why don’t you just do it?” These C.O.s continued past my cell without offering me a meal tray. I asked, “Why are you skipping me for my tray?” C.O. R. Day said, “you want to know why? Because we can.” At this point, I requested to speak to a sergeant and was ignored. I kicked my door and said, “I’ll board up.” (Cover my window.) Day said, “Do what you gotta do.”

I’ve been suffering from depression lately as well as stress, and broke down into tears of anger and frustration. I even thought again of suicide. (I’ve been accepted for transfer to Salinas Valley State Mental Hospital.) I covered my window in an attempt to procure a meal and also so that C.O. R. Day would not be able to see me and taunt me for “crying like a little bitch.”

The sergeant arrived, and I was still unable to procure my meal. I took my window cover down, and as C.O. R. Day walked past my cell, I said “I’ll pray for your soul!” He grabbed his genitals and said, “You’ve got no sack.” I said “What?” He repeated, “You’ve got no sack,” referring to my genitals (or lack thereof) while holding his own.

Just as we are held to standards and have a rule book of regulations to follow, so do C.O.s. These officers violated regulation 3391, “Correctional officers shall not refer to inmates in any derogatory names,” and 3050, “inmates shall not be refused a meal as a form of punishment.”

Since I began this bLog while serving time in the “SHU,” reader have heard my stories and my poetry. You’ve read about the suicides I mentioned earlier, about brutality from C.O.s and injustice. (I’ve been sentenced to 25 years to Life by a court of law and am paying my penance. By no means should C.O.s be providing their own forms of punishments.) You’ve read about my depressions, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Too often, these C.O.s get away with this sort of behavior. It’s unprofessional and demeaning. I’ve observed C.O. R. Day bully other inmates, particularly inmates who are in the mental health program. This is wrong! Many inmates, especially in Ad-Seg have committed suicide. C.O. R. Day is not the first one to ever say something like, “Why don’t you just do it?” I didn’t, but others have. I’ve written a complaint against C.O. R. Day. Please help me make a stand against this sort of injustice and abuse that is all too often swept under the rug and covered up. Don’t let this go! A lot of the C.O.s in this particular prison are decent people, but there a few bad apples who get away with so much that

from phawker.com

from phawker.com

they begin to think they are invincible. After all, we are just inmates. They write the paperwork! Even an inmate’s complaint about a C.O. is handled by another C.O. Please help me be heard by calling or writing and echoing my concerns. You will not be pulled into the situation as a witness, will not have to testify, etc. etc., but your concern will be noted and will help my own concerns be brought to light! Let them know you are concerned and appalled to hear that Sean Couch and other prisoners are being denied meals and encouraged to commit suicide. You can even do it anonymously.

Here is the information about the prison I am in. Please call or write. Your help in this and your support would mean the world to me. If you decide not to, I’ll understand and love ya anyway! Thanks.

Elvin Valenzuela, Warden, (805) 547-7900
California Men’s Colony
P.O. Box 8101
San Luis Obispo, CA 93409-8101

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2 Comments
  1. Keep in touch, Sean… hoping the best for you…

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  2. I’ve been reading your stories (Ihave your book, “Country from Unknown Origin). Impressive. I hope the best for you, too, my fellow scribe. I’m glad you liked that poem “Don’t Hate Me.” I was thinking “it’s Dirty Under the Rug” would be a good poem title too.

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